Adrian Cheng, the Oldest Grandson of Cheng Yu-Tung, Invests in a New Energy Service Company in Mainland China together with His Close Friends

June 09 23:30 2023

On May 31, NaaS(NASDAQ: NAAS), the first listed EV charging service company, China announced to have completed the SPO transaction of 3.5 million American Depository Shares (ADS). The transaction involved notable investors such as Dr. Adrian Cheng and CST Group (0985.HK), a well-established HK-listed company.

This SPO is no rival to the dazzling investments worth hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars on the U.S. stock market, but these two participating companies do have earned enough attention. Adrian Cheng is the oldest grandson of Cheng Yu-Tung and the head of the New World Group. CST Group is an established listed company in Hong Kong owned by the low-profile billionaire Mr. Chiu Tao, who is a secretive master of capital known for his sharp business acumen and successful investment. The two forces of the Hong Kong consortium have made private investment in the same company, which attracts infinite reverie from the outside world.

The Most Promising “Rich Third Generation” in Hong Kong

Adrian Cheng has recently twice topped the news charts. Adrian Cheng’s family was enlisted in Hong Kong’s 50 Richest 2023 by Forbes with assets worth of USD 28.9 billion, third only to Li Ka-shing and Lee Shau Kee. During Jay Chou Carnival World Tour Concert 2023 Hong Kong, Adrian Cheng was invited by Jay Chou to sing The Promised Love together.

Adrian Cheng is the oldest son of Henry Cheng Kar-shun, the Chairman of New World Group. Currently, he serves as CEO of New World Development Co., Ltd., in charge of the strategic development direction of the Group’s property development and investment, infrastructure, retail, medical care, insurance, education, hotel, and other business sectors. As early as 2015, he ranked second in Forbes 10 Youngest Billionaires in Asia, with a net worth of USD 4.4 billion.

According to public information, Adrian Cheng mainly invests through himself and the three entities he founded, C Ventures, K11 Investment and ASPEX. His investments involve domestic internet giants Meituan, JD Logistics, and Xiaohongshu, and some well-known leading companies in the fields of consumption, travel and high-tech, such as Full Truck Alliance,, New Ruipeng Pet Group, Ziroom, Horizon Robotics. In the new energy industry, he personally engaged in series D financing for NIO in 2017. In 2018, he took part in series B financing for XPENG in the name of ASPEX.

His outstanding performance in the business field and the venture capital market has earned the title of “the most promising rich third generation in Hong Kong” for him.

The low-profile Billionaire Chiu Tao

CST Group that participated in this round of investment also has close relationship to with Cheng Yu-Tung Family. According to media reports, Cheng Yu-Tung, the first head of Cheng Yu-Tung Family, loves a card game named Big two, so he organized the Big Two Club. The members of the Big Two Club include Cheung Chung-kiu, the real controller of C C Land Holdings Ltd. who is known as “Chongqing Li Ka-shing”, and Joseph Lau Luen-hung, the founder of Chinese Estates Holdings Ltd. The historical information of shareholders shows the core members of Big Two Club, Cheung Chung-kiu, Stanley Ho, Joseph Lau Luen-hung and Cheng Yu-Tung, were all on the list of shareholders of CST Group. Lau Luen-hung once held 11.34% of the shares, Cheng Yu-Tung held 7.29%, and Stanley Ho held the highest shares of 16%. Therefore, CST Group is regarded as a subsidiary company of the Big Two Club.

Chiu Tao, the actual controller of CST Group, has been scarcely reported. Considered as a low-profile billionaire in Hong Kong, he rarely appears in public, but often has extraordinary performance in the capital market.

Yiwu Shiying Import & Export Co., Limited, a company established by Chiu Tao, co-founded Smart King jointly with FF on November 30, 2017. Smart King fully owns the “FF USA” and “FF Hong Kong” businesses. The two parties agreed that Yiwu Shiying Import & Export Co., Limited would invest USD 2 billion to hold 45% shares of the joint venture company. While the FF’s original shareholders represented by Yueting Jia would hold 33% shares with technical assets and business shares. And the remaining 22% shares would be used as the share incentive plan left for company management. Statistics shows as of the end of 2017, Yiwu Shiying Import & Export Co., Limited had paid USD 800 million to FF.

In 2020, CST Group provided large-scale financial assistance to Evergrande Group several times. It once held 42.18 million shares of Evergrande Group, with a book value of over USD 300 million, which shows the capital strength of CST Group.

Another person who can prove the close relationship between CST Group and Cheng Yu-Tung Family is Xuyang Han, CEO of CST Group,previously an Oxford and HKU educated lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell, is one of the youngest CEOs of mainboard-listed companies in Hong Kong. Xuyang Han, close to Adrian Cheng, is the largest donor of Adrian Cheng Charitable Fund. They both participated in the Hong Kong MPlus (M+) museum donation. Xuyang Han attended the listing and bell-ringing ceremony of the company invested by Adrian Cheng, and accompanied with Adrian Cheng to the Jay Chou Concert mentioned earlier.

The two major Hong Kong consortiums’ investments always follow the trend of the times. In the new energy market, the joint efforts of the two consortiums show an important signal for Hong Kong capital.

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